Race Weekend Central

Christopher Bell Leads Xfinity Practices at ISM Raceway

Christopher Bell posted the fastest speeds in both of the NASCAR Xfinity Series practice sessions on Friday (Nov. 8) afternoon for the Desert Diamond West Valley Casino 400.

Opening Practice 

Bell was fastest in the opening Xfinity practice with a speed of 129.795 mph. Following him were the other two members of the “Big Three.” Cole Custer was second fastest, laying down a speed of 129.716 mph. Tyler Reddick was third with a speed of 129.711 mph.

Zane Smith, driving the No. 8 for JR Motorsports for the final time in 2019, was fourth fastest (129.478 mph), while his teammate Justin Allgaier was fifth (129.399 mph).

Michael Annett was 12th on the scoring pylon, the slowest playoff driver. Austin Cindric was the fastest among the four drivers who turned 10 consecutive laps, averaging a speed of 127.812 mph.

First practice was halted for nearly 20 minutes after Joe Nemechek, driving the No. 74 for Mike Harmon Racing, lost an engine and subsequently slid into the turn 1 wall. Clean up from fluids laid down on the track caused the lengthy delay.


Final Practice

Bell’s speed in the second practice session of the afternoon was faster than his first practice speed, at 130.147 mph.

Reddick was second with a speed of 130.011 mph and Custer was third at 129.618 mph. Allagier (129.613 mph) and Cindric (129.385 mph) rounded out the top five.

Chase Briscoe, who complained throughout the session of being too loose, was the slowest among the playoff drivers in 12th, with a speed of 128.622 mph.

Reddick laid down the best 10 consecutive lap average with an average speed of 129.426 mph. The No. 2 Chevrolet was followed by Bell (129.388 mph) and Allgaier (129.180 mph).


Qualifying for Saturday’s event will begin at 12:35 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network, followed by the race at 3:30 p.m. ET on NBC. Bell is the defending winner.

About the author

Josh Roller is a 2019 graduate of the Sports Capital Journalism Program at IUPUI in Indianapolis. While in school, he covered the 2018 Indianapolis 500 and the 2019 College Football Playoff National Championship. He was an extern for INDYCAR in 2019 and interned with Charlotte Motor Speedway's Communications Department in 2020. Besides writing the Xfinity Breakdown for Frontstretch, he also does a weekly podcast with a friend he met at the 2018 Indy 500, Rob Peeters, called the Racing with Rob and Roller podcast.

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